You Can't Take Mickey!
Andrew Dewar was a graduate of the journalism program at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, and on the staff of the North York Public Library.
Perhaps I am stodgy, but I don’t like stories about people running away. This story, however, makes an exception to that rule. Mickey is an autistic child that Claire and Adam come to love while staying with their Aunt Harriet. Harriet mistreats and ignores Mickey. When Claire finds out that she has plans to put him in an institution (which she visits and is horrified by), she decides to prevent it. With her brother Adam she runs away with the child, hoping to avoid being found until her mother returns from a weekend trip and sees to better arrangements for the child.
Claire and Adam are appealing characters, well founded and quite believable. They are not infinitely resourceful, but they use their heads to survive until they are found, and their obvious affection for each other and Mickey is wonderful. Sonia Craddock’s flair for dialogue has made the book very life-like indeed.
The book is about the way we treat each other: Harriet is well meaning but uninterested in her son; under the affectionate care of Claire and Adam, Mickey begins to break out of his shell. It is also a story in which doing what is best is definitely not doing what is right; the kids have to run away to protect Mickey from well-meaning people who ultimately will not be able to help him. It is a thoughtful book, and a very good one.